Okay, we’re back. Welcome to day 2 of the 3-day Productivity Blog Showdown. In case you missed them earlier, today’s questions are as follows:
You both seem to encourage paying less attention to how much money you
make, and pay more attention to what you’re passionate about. With that
in mind, please address the following:
a. What if your passion IS money?
What should I do if my passion requires money, and in order to make
money, I need to work a whole bunch of hours per week at a job I’m not
passionate about, leaving no time for my passion?
what should I do if I know that my passion is staying home with my
family (or similar non-paying passion), but doing that won’t pay the
bills? How can I reconcile being away from my family/passion in order
to "just" make money?
Fred Gratzon is the author of The Lazy Way to Success, and also keeps a blog over here.
He has also founded two very different companies, an ice cream
manufacturing company and a long distance company–more info about that
in this interview.
His unique point of view is delivered from a comfortable perch within a
hammock–ostensibly somewhere near palm trees, but I think it’s
actually nearer to Iowa, USA. So, without further commentary, here is Fred’s response…
Our educational system trains people to be employed. Kids are continually harangued that they will only get good jobs if they work hard in school.
Our schools do not foster creativity, imagination, self-knowledge, self-reliance, or wisdom. Our schools do not inspire passion or joy of learning. They do not teach kids to think for themselves. Basically we are educating our youth to "work hard" and be good little employees.
Here it is between the eyes, folks: you cannot become successful punching a time clock. Some of you will argue, "But what about Bill Gates’ first secretary? Didn’t she just buy Argentina and sell it to Brazil?" Yes, yes, but such cases are exceedingly rare. Besides, her wealth came from ownership, not clock punching.
In almost all cases, you just can’t become successful working for someone else – unless, of course, you’re the starting shortstop for the New York Yankees. But even then you’d be playing, not working.
Question: What if your passion is money?
Fred’s answer: It depends on what you want to do with the money. If you want it to fund an opera company, or institute an educational reform, or create world peace, then your passion to get the money is admirable.
If, however, your passion is to continuously upgrade your shelter, dining and mating options, then I would have no interest in partnering with you, or even hiring you. In fact, I’d have no interest in even meeting you.
Second Question: My passion requires money. So I have to work all week at a job I’m not passionate about, and now there’s no time left for my passion! What should I do?
Fred’s Answer: I can’t relate to this question. It is impossible for me to imagine spending any time at a job, let alone all my time, while denying myself what I love. I would regard that as a huge disservice to myself and a sinful waste on every conceivable level.
When I have a passion that requires money, I figure out a way to get the money without having to sacrifice my life chasing a paycheck. There are much easier, more plentiful ways of getting money than doing a job. Anyway, when I am passionate about something, I have to do it every moment. There’s no time left for a job.
You need a new mindset, a fresh influx of creativity and inspiration.
For your brain to be creative and inspired, it needs rest. At the very least, you should get enough sleep. (Be in bed with lights out and your eyes closed before 10 PM every night. I promise you that will do wonders.) Take long leisurely walks in the woods. Collaborate with people who share your passion. If you set up those initial conditions, the answers you need will percolate to the surface.
If you allow your brain to become stunted from endless hours of insurance adjusting, cubicle dwelling, writing numbers in columns, or the like, it simply won’t deliver.
Third Question: My passion is staying home with my family (or similar non-paying passion), but that won’t pay the bills. How can I reconcile being away from my family/passion just to make money?
Fred’s Answer: I don’t believe any passion is non-paying. You can always find a way. It may not be what you currently have in mind, but punching a time clock is not exactly inspired thinking. You have to be alert to the periphery – that’s where the opportunities are.